20 Best Books For 5 Year Olds – Reads For Young Nerds in 2021

Your blooming bookworms are almost ready to set foot in kindergarten. At this stage, you must pick valuable reads for them. If you are looking for some help to choose the best books for 5 year olds, you’ve come to the right place.

This Advice was Last Updated 3 days ago.

Sometimes the imaginative yet deep questions of your 5-year old leaves you astonished about their curiosity levels. Being a parent of a 5-year old, finding the right knowledge resources for your munchkin is crucial.

Buying books for a 5-year old can leave you in a pool of thoughts. “Will this book set the right example for my child?” or “Are the children going to find this book interesting?”

Well, these days, books for 5-year olds are not tales picked from ancient times. Modern-day books for 5-year olds can open a whole new world of learning with their constructive stories.

Your blooming bookworms are almost ready to set foot in kindergarten. At this stage, you must pick valuable reads for them. If you are looking for some help to choose the best books for 5 year olds, you’ve come to the right place.

This article will help you build a mini library with the best books for 5-year olds!

Looking for more great book reviews ☍ ? Check out all our articles on this topic.

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20 Best Books for 5 Year Olds to Read

Do you know that 90% of the child’s brain development takes place before five ☍? Interesting, right? Owing to this, you should cherry-pick the best children’s books for 5-year-olds.

This book list has some reads that are best-rated by critics and educations specialists. Let’s take you through each one of them!

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Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester

Tacky the Penguin
Kindle / Hardcover / Paperback / Board book
Tacky’s perfect friends find him annoying until his odd behavior saves the day.
Tacky the Penguin - one of the best books for 5 year olds

One of our first recommendations would be Tacky the Penguin. Kids enjoy the story of the different little penguins.

One of the life messages that most parents struggle to convey to their children is that “it is okay to be different.”

The book revolves around the character “Tacky the penguin.” This little penguin is very different than the other penguins in the colony. For starters, Tacky makes belly flops while the other penguins deliver graceful and flawless dives.

The other penguins in the colony disagree with Tacky’s individuality and differences.

On one of the occasions, a group of hunters threatens the penguins. It is the “different” Tacky who comes with an innovative solution to escape.

If your young child enjoys stories of Tacky, you should also consider the other books in the Tacky series.

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Why do we suggest it?

The cute penguins will catch the interest of your little one very quickly. This book has an impactful message about the individuality and unique gifts of every person.

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Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin  

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
Kindle / Hardcover / Paperback / Board book
A #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon, this deliciously funny read-aloud is an unforgettable tale of new friends and the perfect snack that will make you laugh until spicy salsa comes out of your nose.
dragons love tacos info

Dragons Love Tacos is one of the best audiobooks for 5-year-olds. This book claims that all dragons love all types of tacos. The dragons are also fond of a good party. You can invite them over for your taco party.

But, what happens when you give them spicy salsas? Well, that is what the story in this book entails. The funny story and pictures will leave your kids in splits.

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Why do we suggest it?

If you want some light reading for your child, this book is a great escape. The illustrations are intriguing and eye-catchy.

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Corduroy

Corduroy
Kindle / Hardcover / Paperback / Board book
Celebrate 50 years of the beloved teddy bear.
2018 marks Corduroy’s 50th anniversary, and Don Freeman’s classic character is even more popular today than he was when he first came on the scene. Now his original story is available in an unabridged, sturdy board book format, perfect for even the youngest readers.
corduroy book info

Corduroy is our top pick for the best audiobooks for 5-year-olds. This classic tale will enthrall all kids who love the company of cuddly animals.

The story revolves around Corduroy, who is a teddy at a departmental store. One day, a mother disagrees with buying Corduroy for her daughter because it was missing a button.

On the very same day, Corduroy embarks on a store-wide search for its button. However, he ends up with something even better – a friend.  

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Why do we suggest it?

The gentle adventure will delight your kids with its happy ending. You’ll appreciate how the plot is easygoing and how the simple story builds up.

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Inky’s Amazing Escape by Sy Montgomery

Inky's Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home
Kindle / Paperback
Learn all about Inky the Octopus, an international sensation known for escaping from the New Zealand aquarium in April 2016, in this fascinating picture book from National Book Award nominee and octopus expert Sy Montgomery.
inkys amazing escape info

If you want to introduce your 5-year old to marine life, there’s no better way than Inky’s Amazing Escape. The gorgeous illustrations in the book sum up Inky’s life and journey in the most intriguing way.

The clever octopus tries to find his way home after living for years in an aquarium in New Zealand.

Your children might be able to relate to Inky’s curiosity about exploring the wider world. Most children find the illustrations and the plot to be amusing.

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Why do we suggest it?

This non-fiction beautiful illustration story has many octopus-related facts. Besides, this true story can open new doors to curiosity and learning. It seamlessly includes sea-world facts in its narrative.

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Power Up by Seth Fishman

Power Up
Hardcover / Paperback
This captivating and educational picture book from Seth Fishman and Isabel Greenberg introduces young readers to basic facts about energy and the human body. Fun, informative and accessible, Power Up is perfect for classroom and family sharing. A great title to read along with Andrea Beaty’s Ada Twist, Scientist and Oliver Jeffers’s Here We Are.
power up info

If your early reader shows affinity towards non-fiction, they’ll love Power Up. Your children might be surprised to understand the groundbreaking facts about the human body and energy.

Wait for their faces when the story tells them that their pinkie has enough energy to power the entire city!

The author breaks down complicated into bite-sized text with a colorful illustration. It’s apt for classroom learning.

So, if you are looking to feed some science lessons to your kindergartener, Power Up is your best bet.

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Why do we suggest it?

Power Up is a perfect plot to help your kids explore facts about the human body and energy. It’s lovely how the author makes the information more accessible and fun for kids.

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Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence and Richard Atwater

Mr. Popper's Penguins
Kindle / Hardcover / Paperback / Board book
A classic of American humor, the adventures of a house painter and his brood of high-stepping penguins have delighted children for generations. “Here is a book to read aloud in groups of all ages. There is not an extra or misplaced word in the whole story.”–The Horn Book. Newbery Honor Book.
mr poppers penguins info

Mr. Popper Penguin is a good book that most of us have read in our childhood. You can also opt for the audio version of this book. It’s advised for children of 8+ years, but we think your 5 year old would love it.

Though the book dates back to the 1930s, the story remains the favorite amongst current generation kindergarteners.

Mr. Popper, the main character in this book about navigating the Poles and desires to have penguins. It makes a perfect story when Mr. Popper receives a penguin as a pet.

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Why do we suggest it?

It makes a perfect read-aloud for children. The captivating story and the sprinkles of illustrations will be a fun read for kids.

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Kindergarten, Here I Come by D. J. Steinberg

Kindergarten, Here I Come
Kindle / Hardcover / Paperback / Board book
This adorable picture book celebrates all the familiar milestones and moments shared by every single kindergartener. Whether it’s the first-day-of-school jitters or the hundredth-day-of-school party, every aspect of the kindergarten experience is introduced with a light and funny poem–not to mention charming illustrations.
kindergarten here i come info

If your child is due for kindergarten in the coming months, it’s advisable to grab this book. The book features a set of poems about kindergarten activities. There are instances showcasing recess, counting, show and tell, and whatnot!

The adorable pictures and the simplistic text make it one of the best books for 3-5-year-olds. It explores every minuscule aspect of kindergarten life.

So, if your kid has hesitation in going to pre-school, you can take the help of this lovely text!

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Why do we suggest it?

This book is exceptional simply because it can help your child prep up for pre-school. The book uses illustrations that are a true reflection of the real-life kindergarten world.

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Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin

Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes
Kindle / Hardcover / Paperback / Board book
Don’t miss Pete’s other adventures, including Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, Pete the Cat Saves Christmas, Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses, Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues, Pete the Cat and the New Guy, Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie, Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes, Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party, and Pete the Cat: Crayons Rock!
pete the cat info

The groovy shoes of Pete the Cat are quite the globetrotter! Pete sings tunes on his boots and explores different locations of the school. When things take a bitter side, he keeps himself positive.

The positive and vibrant attitude is just like that of pre-schoolers. If your child is starting pre-school soon, this book will assist you in prepping them for it.

Pete’s adventures around the school will tickle the funny bones in your child. Pete the Cat has other exciting experiences as well.

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Why do we suggest it?

The children will be able to relate well to the familiar character. It explores school building, and the story can reflect a kid’s experiences and emotions.

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The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

The Kissing Hand
Kindle / Hardcover / Paperback / Board book
Since its first publication in 1993, this heartwarming book has become a children’s book that has touched the lives of millions of children and their parents, especially at times of separation, whether starting school, entering daycare, or going to camp. It is widely used by kindergarten teachers on the first day of school. Stickers at the back will help children and their parents keep their Kissing Hand alive.
the kissing hand info

Is it going to be your child’s first day at pre-school on some days? The Kissing Hand is a fantastic read for nervous children gearing for the first day at school.

In the story, Chester, the raccoon, doesn’t want to leave the comfortable bubble of his home. Chester’s mother responds with a great solution.

Many parents claim that reading The Kissing Hand to their kids has helped them eliminate first-time school woes.

You should also know that there are other books about Chester.

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Why do we suggest it?

This book deals with a sensitive topic for a 5-year old in the utmost gracious manner. A 5-year old will perhaps relate to the story and find it very interesting.

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Today I Will Fly by Mo Willems

Today I Will Fly! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)
Hardcover / Paperback
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.
Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.
Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.
Gerald and Piggie are best friends.
today i will fly info

‘Today I Will Fly’ is a perfect way to introduce your kids to an Elephant and Piggie book. This book introduces your child to Gerald, the elephant, who has a worrying and careful nature. Gerald’s best friend, Piggie, on the other hand, is a lively and carefree character.

Piggie wants to fly, but Gerald doubts her plans and abilities. However, Piggie makes her dream come true with help from some of her other friends.

The simple dialogues in the book are what make it an exciting read.

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Why do we suggest it?

It is an excellent book if you want your kids to love read-aloud sessions. The book’s illustrations carefully enlighten your child about emotions and actions.

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Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business
Hardcover / Paperback
Children will delight in following the peddler’s efforts to outwit the monkeys and will ask to read it again and again. Caps for Sale is an excellent easy-to-read book that includes repetition, patterns, and colors, perfect for early readers.
caps for sale info

Caps for Sale is one story that all of us have heard at least once in our lifetime.  This picture book is the favorite of many children across the world. The story is almost a century old. Nevertheless, it has not lost its ability to impress young readers.

A great deal of repetition in the story helps the kids to pick up reading patterns. The kids seem to love the different colors on the cap. Overall, the illustrations are very striking.

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Why do we suggest it?

It is a straightforward and subtle tale that impresses readers of every age. Most of the text is relatively easy to understand, and the characters are fun too.

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Courage by Bernard Waber

Courage
Hardcover / Paperback
What is courage? Certainly it takes courage for a firefighter to rescue someone trapped in a burning building, but there are many other kinds of courage too. Everyday kinds that normal, ordinary people exhibit all the time, like “being the first to make up after an argument,” or “going to bed without a nightlight.”
courage info

Courage discusses the showcase of braveness by police officers, firefighters, and other daily-life examples.

The books lack a plot, but that’s the very beauty of it. The watercolor illustrations are soothing to the eye. It can help a 5-year old comprehend that courage has many models.

It nudges them to be brave in the smallest of incidents. With the help of this book, the children can identify courage in things around them.

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Why do we suggest it?

The volume of entertainment and value is maximum in this book. The artful text and characters provoke children to take bold actions.

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Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry

Hair Love
Kindle / Hardcover / Paperback / Board book
Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her — and her hair — happy.
hair love info

Hair Love is one of the most beautiful and expressive books on this list. The message of self-confidence is duly delivered in the story. Moreover, the book celebrates the unique relationship of a father and daughter.

Zuri is well aware that her unusual hair has quirks. She finds it fun to have different hairstyles. The twist? It’s her father who has to come up with beautiful hairstyles to keep up with his daughter.

Sony Pictures also have an Oscar-winning film on the same book.

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Why do we suggest it?

It touches the concept of relationships and self-confidence in the most genuine way. Not only kids, but even parents of 5-year olds find the story to be comforting.

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Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey

Pig the Pug
Kindle / Hardcover / Paperback / Board book
Pig is a greedy and selfish Pug. He has all the bouncy balls, bones, and chew toys a dog could ever want yet he refuses to share with his poor friend, Trevor. Little does he know, however, that being greedy has its consequences. Join Pig as he learns to share – the hard way!
pig the pug info

Kindergarten teachers often find it hard to get the attention of young fickle-minded pre-schoolers. What better way to do it than a book with a doggie as the main character? Pig the pug is the main character of the book.

Pig has heaps of toys. But, Pig refuses to share them with his friend Trevor, a dachshund. The rhyming verse is one of the unique aspects of the book. Not to mention the beautiful

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Why do we suggest it?

One of the best books when it comes to explaining the concept of sharing to kids. Also, the caricatures and the illustrations will indeed induce some giggling.

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How to Catch a Mermaid by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton

How to Catch a Mermaid
Kindle / Hardcover / Paperback / Board book
Many claim to have caught a mermaid, but can YOU? Perfect for mermaid lovers, summer reading, and gifts for kids ages 4-7, this funny mermaid picture book is brimming with fun STEAM-based traps and offers an irresistible under-the-sea adventure that parents, educators, and children will love!
how to catch a mermaid info

The illustrations and the beautiful story make it one of the best audiobooks for 5-year-olds. One of our most favorite things about this book is how they use images. If your child deters from reading, these illustrations are sure to catch their attention.

The irresistible under-the-sea images might just be the fun your kid is missing. The Catch book series is by far one of the most exciting picks for 5-year olds.

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Why do we suggest it?

This book follows STEM themes and helps the kid to expand vocabulary. The text or the illustrations are not too overwhelming.

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Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

Rosie Revere, Engineer (The Questioneers)
Kindle / Hardcover / Paperback / Board book
Rosie Revere dreamed of becoming a great engineer. Where some people see rubbish, Rosie sees inspiration. Alone in her room at night, shy Rosie constructs great inventions from odds and ends. Hot dog dispensers, helium pants, python-repelling cheese hats: Rosie’s gizmos would astound—if she ever let anyone see them.
rosie revere engineer info

Rosie Revere will encourage the little inventor and thinker in your child. This book features a story about Rosie, the inventor who is fond of inventing random stuff.

The character creates these unusual items at night and hides them around.

One of Rosie’s fear is “failure.” Rosie’s great-great-aunt explained to her how failure is an integral part of learning and growing.

Parents love the idea and scheme of introducing failure to their kids. The illustrations and mesmerizing.

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Why do we suggest it?

The books have a powerful message for your young reader. It celebrates failure to help kids understand that it is not a big deal.

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One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
Kindle / Hardcover / Paperback / Board book
From counting to opposites to Dr. Seuss’s signature silly rhymes, this book has everything a beginning reader needs! Meet the bumpy Wump and the singing Ying, and even the winking Yink who drinks pink ink. The silly rhymes and colorful cast of characters will have every child giggling from morning to night.
one fish two fish info

This Dr.Seuss book doesn’t have a storyline. Nevertheless, your kids will enjoy the playful rhyme sets and silly pictures across the book.

The best part is that the words are easy to read. Therefore, you can encourage your child to read a few words. What’s more, they also cover opposites and counting.

Dr. Seuss is a hit with families.

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Why do we suggest it?

It grabs the attention of young readers with funny characters and rhymes. Children thoroughly seem to enjoy this read.

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Bob Books, Set 1 by Bobby Lynn Maslen

Bob Books, Set 1
Kindle / Book Supplement
Teach a child letter sounds with Bob Books Set 1! With four letters in the first story, children can read a whole book. Consistent new sounds are added gradually, until young readers have read books with all letters of the alphabet (except Q). Short vowels and three-letter words in simple sentences make Bob Books Set 1 a fun confidence builder. With little books, come big success. (TM)
bob books info

If the kids know their letters and alphabets, the Bob Books, Set 1 can be a good read for them. This set has about 12 different books. Each book has increasing levels of sounds to help your child grow.

This set of books only use three-letter words. You’ll also notice that the illustrations are pretty simple. If you are looking to build your child’s confidence in reading, it is one of the best books for 3-5-year-olds.

Most parents have positive reviews about the set of books.

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Why do we suggest it?

This set of Bob Books is the best in terms of quality and ease of reading. It introduces academics to children in the best possible way.

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Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

Charlotte's Web
Kindle / Hardcover / Paperback / Audiobook
Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.
charlottes web info

Charlotte’s Web is one of the best chapter books. It leaves behind all the complications and engrosses the children in the world of animals. The story of the little farm girl and her unusual friendship with the spider has touched many parts.

The ups and downs in the story are something that will take your kid for a joyride. It is one of the must-reads for children.

Though this is not a new entrant, the story remains as fresh and exciting as ever!

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Why do we suggest it?

Charlotte’s Web is a soulful and emotionally touching story. This book is great for some light reading to your children.

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The Ralph Mouse Collection by Beverly Cleary

The Ralph Mouse Collection (The Mouse and the Motorcycle / Runaway Ralph / Ralph S. Mouse)
Paperback
With Ralph S. Mouse behind the handlebars of his favorite toy motorcycle, there’s no telling what readers will encounter.
This three-book box set includes the entire Ralph S. Mouse series:
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Runaway Ralph
Ralph S. Mouse
The funny, highly illustrated Ralph S. Mouse books will have both eager independent readers and reluctant readers smiling and flipping pages. These classics for boys and girls ages 7-12 stand the test of time.
ralph mouse collection info

If you are looking for the best chapter books for 5-year-olds, here it is! The collection has three books and revolves around the character Ralph, who is a brave mouse. Ralph doesn’t scare away like the other mice in his family.

The other mice despise humans and consider them as threats. Ralph, on the flip side, tries to connect to a human and becomes friends with him.

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Why do we suggest it?

Courage can be a complicated topic to impart to children. However, this book seamlessly discusses the issue. With its unusual plot, the Ralph Mouse collection makes sure to capture the attention of young readers.

Best Read-Aloud Books II 4-5 year olds
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Frequently Asked Questions

Five is an early yet critical age ☍. What you teach right now is going to stay with your child forever. This thought might put you in a fix while choosing the best books for 5-year olds.

It’s natural for you to have a few lingering questions. Hopefully, you’ll have some clarity with these answers to frequently asked questions.

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What Should a 5-Year-Old Be reading?

Typically, a 5-year old can read vowel words. Therefore, it is wise to choose storybooks that do not have more than three or four-letter words. They can identify the small details of the story, like who and what.

Mostly at this stage, you have to read aloud stories to them. However, you can try asking them to understand and try to read some words from books.

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Which Roald Dahl Books Are Suitable for 5-Year-Olds?

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Roald Dahl writes some of the most fantastic and intriguing stories for children. The writer has some of the best chapter books for 5-year olds.

You can buy Fantastic Mr. Fox ☍ for your little one.

This book is great for beginner readers. Typically, the other Roald Dahl books will be more suitable for children aged 7 to 9.

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What Is a Good Chapter Book For a 5-Year-Old?

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What Books Should I Read to My 5 Years Old?

There are gazillions of books that you can read to your 5-year old. You should pick books that show the ethics of characters.

Try to settle for books that reflect their daily emotional experiences. The best books are the ones that are both informative and behavior-shaping.
We’ve just advised you on 20 of them. You can pick any of these 20 suggestions to read to your child.

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Wrap Up

The last thing you want your 5-year old is to learn something inaccurate. With these fantastic book suggestions, we are sure that you can nudge your child in the right direction.

If you are looking to encourage good manners and proper behavior in your child, these books can help you out. Setting the foundation of your child’s learning at the very early stages is crucial.

Introducing reading habits is one of the best practices you can adopt for your toddler. We curated this guide, keeping in mind how picky and choosy children can get.

It’s phenomenal how subtly books can introduce the real world to your child. Pick one or a few books from our collection for your budding learners!

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